Leonardo Da Vinci
Italian High Renaissance Painter and Inventor, 1452-1519
Florentine Renaissance man, genius, artist in all media, architect, military engineer. Possibly the most brilliantly creative man in European history, he advertised himself, first of all, as a military engineer. In a famous letter dated about 1481 to Ludovico Sforza, of which a copy survives in the Codice Atlantico in Milan, Leonardo asks for employment in that capacity. He had plans for bridges, very light and strong, and plans for destroying those of the enemy. He knew how to cut off water to besieged fortifications, and how to construct bridges, mantlets, scaling ladders, and other instruments. He designed cannon, very convenient and easy of transport, designed to fire small stones, almost in the manner of hail??grape- or case-shot (see ammunition, artillery). He offered cannon of very beautiful and useful shapes, quite different from those in common use and, where it is not possible to employ cannon ?? catapults, mangonels and trabocchi and other engines of wonderful efficacy not in general use. And he said he made armoured cars, safe and unassailable, which will enter the serried ranks of the enemy with their artillery ?? and behind them the infantry will be able to follow quite unharmed, and without any opposition. He also offered to design ships which can resist the fire of all the heaviest cannon, and powder and smoke.
The large number of surviving drawings and notes on military art show that Leonardo claims were not without foundation, although most date from after the Sforza letter. Most of the drawings, including giant crossbows (see bows), appear to be improvements on existing machines rather than new inventions. One exception is the drawing of a tank dating from 1485-8 now in the British Museum??a flattened cone, propelled from inside by crankshafts, firing guns. Another design in the British Museum, for a machine with scythes revolving in the horizontal plane, dismembering bodies as it goes, is gruesomely fanciful.
Most of the other drawings are in the Codice Atlantico in Milan but some are in the Royal Libraries at Windsor and Turin, in Venice, or the Louvre and the École des Beaux Arts in Paris. Two ingenious machines for continuously firing arrows, machine-gun style, powered by a treadmill are shown in the Codice Atlantico. A number of other sketches of bridges, water pumps, and canals could be for military or civil purposes: dual use technology.
Leonardo lived at a time when the first artillery fortifications were appearing and the Codice Atlantico contains sketches of ingenious fortifications combining bastions, round towers, and truncated cones. Models constructed from the drawings and photographed in Calvi works reveal forts which would have looked strikingly modern in the 19th century, and might even feature in science fiction films today. On 18 August 1502 Cesare Borgia appointed Leonardo as his Military Engineer General, although no known building by Leonardo exists.
Leonardo was also fascinated by flight. Thirteen pages with drawings for man-powered aeroplanes survive and there is one design for a helicoidal helicopter. Leonardo later realized the inadequacy of the power a man could generate and turned his attention to aerofoils. Had his enormous abilities been concentrated on one thing, he might have invented the modern glider. Related Paintings of Leonardo Da Vinci :. | Portrait of Ginevra de' Benci | Flower Studies | The Last Supper-l | Study for the Trivulzio Equestrian Monument | Portrait of Ginerva de'Benci-u |
Related Artists:Richard Cosway
English Rococo Era Miniaturist, 1742-1821,Painter, draughtsman, dealer and collector. Probably the son of a schoolmaster, he showed a precocious talent for drawing and studied at Shipley's Drawing School in the Strand, where he won several prizes. He attended the Richmond House academy, set up by Charles Lennox, 3rd Duke of Richmond, where he met Giovanni Battista Cipriani. He first exhibited at the Society of Artists in 1760, showing there again between 1767 and 1779. He also showed at the Free Society of Artists between 1761 and 1766. In 1769 he entered the Royal Academy Schools, becoming an ARA in 1770, when he began to exhibit at the Academy, and RA the following year. In 1781 Cosway married the Anglo-Florentine artist Maria Cosway, n?e Hadfield, and they moved in 1784 to Schomberg House, Pall Mall, which became a centre for fashionable London society. In 1786 he made a brief visit to Paris and in 1791 he moved to a larger house in Stratford Place, London. Xanthus Russell Smith
Marine, landscape, portrait, and historical painter.
American , 1839-1929
was an American artist best known for his illustrations of the American Civil War. Born in Philadelphia, Smith served in the United States Navy during the war and depicted naval battles with a variety of media, including pencil and oil paint. His best known work (right) recreates the 1864 battle between the CSS Alabama and USS Kearsarge off Cherbourg, France. Smith did not actually participate in most of the battles he illustrated; instead, he generally consulted those who were present at the engagements.Leo von Klenze
German Architect and Painter, 1784-1864,was a German neoclassicist architect, painter and writer. Court architect of Bavarian King Ludwig I, Leo von Klenze was one of the most prominent representatives of Greek revival style. Von Klenze studied architecture in Berlin and Paris. Between 1808 and 1813 he was a court architect of Jerome Bonaparte, King of Westphalia. Later he moved to Bavaria and in 1816 began to work as court architect of Ludwig I. The King's passion for Hellenism shaped the architectural style of von Klenze. He built many neoclassical buildings in Munich, including the Ruhmeshalle and Monopteros temple. On Konigsplatz he designed probably the best known modern Hellenistic architectural ensemble. Near Regensburg he built the Walhalla temple, named after Valhalla, the home of gods in Norse mythology. When Greece won its independence, Ludwig I's son Otto became the country's first king. Von Klenze was invited to Athens to submit plans of city reconstruction in the style of Ancient Greece. Russian Emperor Nicholas I commissioned von Klenze to design a building for the New Hermitage, a public museum that housed Greek, Roman, and Egyptian antiquities. Von Klenze also designed and arranged museum galleries in Munich, including the Glyptothek and Alte Pinakothek. Von Klenze was not only an architect, but also an accomplished painter and draughtsman. In many of his paintings ancient buildings were depicted. Those served as models for his own architectural projects. Klenze studied ancient architecture during his travels to Italy and Greece. He also participated in excavations of ancient buildings in Athens and submitted projects for the restoration of the Acropolis. Klenze collected works of important contemporary German painters. He sold his collection, including 58 landscapes and genre paintings, to King Ludwig I in 1841.